Best Dog Breeds For Seniors

A dog can be a good companion for a senior citizen. Seniors who are retired and have grown children may want a canine friend. Some breeds are better choices for a senior. Generally, the smaller breeds are better. They don’t pull on the leash with enough force to drag someone down, and they are easier to take to and from the vet. Some possibilities include:

1) Pug
Pugs originated in China. They’re a small dog, with males weighing up to 20 pounds. They have smooth, short hair, so grooming them is easy. They have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.

Pugs are known for being adaptable. They’ll adjust to almost any lifestyle, be it that of an athlete or a couch potato. That adaptability means they get along well with other pets.

2) Maltese
The Maltese is an ancient breed, and it possibly dates back to the 3rd century B.C. Aristotle described dogs resembling them, and they were popular with women in Ancient Rome.

Maltese are one of the toy breeds and weigh between 4 and 7 pounds. They are pure white with long flowing hair, so they do need regular bathing and grooming to look their best.

Although an active breed, they don’t need much exercise. They will get enough of that just from following their owner around or playing in the yard.

3) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel originated in England, it and was once a favorite pet of the royal family. It is one of the largest of the toy breeds and weighs between 13 and 18 pounds.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has long silky hair that comes in one four distinct patterns. Grooming is straightforward. The dog needs to be combed and brushed several times a week to keep its coat from getting tangled and to keep it from shedding all over the place.

These dogs are affectionate and undemanding, but they can be timid. They can be playful, but they also love to sit in people’s laps.

4) Shih-Tzu
The Shih-Tzu is an ancient breed from China. They have been depicted in Chinese art dating back to the 7th century. They generally weigh between 9 and 16 pounds. They have long dense fur that requires grooming. Some people do take the dog to a groomer to get the dog a haircut.

Shih-Tzu are not particularly active dogs and don’t need much exercise beyond a play session in the yard and a daily walk. They are quiet, intelligent, but they do not like to be left alone.

5) Boston Terrier
As the name suggests, Boston Terriers originated in Boston. The first Boston Terriers could weigh over 45 pounds and were bred for dog fighting. These days, they weigh 10 to 25 pounds.

Unlike their thuggish ancestors, modern Boston Terriers are sometimes called “American Gentleman” because their short coat comes in a tuxedo pattern. They do shed, so brushing them once a week to get rid of loose hair is recommended.

While the original Boston Terrier was bred to be vicious, the modern dog is friendly, playful, and quiet. They are also intelligent, easy to train, and do well in apartments.

Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

Pet owners have often stated that having a pet is good for their health and mental well being. The latter is easy to see when they experience the unconditional love of their pets upon returning home or the way that something as simple as petting their animal can calm even the worst of moods. There is a reason that the human race continues its relationship with their domesticated companions. They make people feel good.

They are also a great way for people to meet each other. Being in a relationship can be another great stress reliever and talking about their pets is one of the easiest ways to break the ice there is. It can also act as a way to improve their social interaction skills. Some people find it hard to get to know other people, but talking about the personalities and antics of their pets can help them learn how to talk and make friends with ease.

The physical health benefits are a little trickier to pin down. Obviously, the calming brought on by petting is helpful in lowering a person’s blood pressure. Taking a dog for a walk forces their owner to get the needed exercise as well. The calming effect and higher rates of exercise also combine to show a lowered tendency for heart attacks among pet owners and a faster recovery time for those that do experience them.

Pets can often be sensitive to changes in their owner’s body chemistry. This is important for diabetes sufferers that have pets. The animal will often react to changes in their owner’s blood sugar levels, letting them know that they need to check and moderate their levels. Dogs are now being trained to perform this function just as they have long been used by other people with disabilities.

Having a pet in the home can also help prevent children from developing allergies. Recent studies have shown that early exposure to pet fur and dander can build a resistance in children. The germs and bacteria that a pet exposes a child to will help them develop a strong immune system. They will be less likely to fall ill and be less severely sick when they do.